The Islamic State And Sex Slavery: A Global Problem With Elusive Solutions

Reports are emerging with the American press that U.S. citizen Kayla Mueller, who was taken captive by the Islamic State and held hostage from August, 2013, until February, 2015, when it was reported that she was killed by a Jordanian state airstrike, was regularly raped by Abu Bakr-al Baghdadi. Baghdadi is the notorious leader of the radical Islamic State group.

Mueller was in Aleppo, in Syria, with her boyfriend, Omar Alkhani, who performed technical duties for Doctors Without Borders when she was taken captive by Islamic State fighters.

Here, Mueller can be heard denouncing the actions of the Islamic State.

The Inquisitr has previously reported on the deplorable treatment of women by the Islamic State, which is said to include human trafficking, the offering of women as gifts, and death for refusing to comply with Islamic State members’ sexual demands. Islamic State leaders may present women as jihad gifts to Islamic State fighters.

On August 11, Amnesty International issued a press release calling for the adoption of an international set of standards designed to protect the human rights of those involved in the sex trade. Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty stated their case.

“Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse. Our global movement paved the way for adopting a policy for the protection of the human rights of sex workers which will help shape Amnesty International’s future work on this important issue.”

Amnesty International has called for the protection of all involved in the sex trade, including prostitutes, pimps, security guards, and drivers. While the move has been hailed as a positive step by many in the sex trade, it is far from a comprehensive plan that addresses all concerns, such as those faced by women under the control of the Islamic State.

What many find disturbing is the booming sex trade in North America, with many women being held against their will in situations that approach the direness of women held captive by the Islamic State. Just this past May, it was reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that 11 women working in the sex trade were found to be in the country illegally in a sweep of the capital of the nation: undocumented sex workers are seen to be at great risk

Many are calling for legalization and oversight of the sex industry. The acts occurring to women at the hands of the Islamic State are regularly duplicated in Canada. Canada had made steps towards legitimizing the industry, and then stepped back. The current state of affairs is reported to be one where individual sex workers are permitted to advertise, but that agencies and organizations are not, effectively shutting many larger operations.

Even with a fully legitimized industry, women who are in Canada illegally, or those who are under coercion, are often offered many incentives to circumvent laws, making a lasting solution elusive. Many women, such as those held by the Islamic State, may be held in Canada against their will.

Only one state in the United States permits prostitution. There are reported to be 28 regulated brothels in the state of Nevada. Quasi-legal massage parlors and other establishments operate in most of the United States as well.

[Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images]